Design of a machine suitable to harvest sweet sorghum, a plant that can be employed in the production of ethanol and other products.
A prototype sweet-sorghum harvester has been devised which carries out the removal of leaves and spathe, therefore harvesting the product ready for long-term storage. It also removes the panicles by means of a series of whips. Two circular parallel blades cut the stalks avoiding all clogging possibilities. The machine sets the product in rows and is light and easy to handle, while maintaining a low cost.
The work program includes the study and execution of:
- 4 driving wheeled transfer unit equipped with hydrostatic motion;
- operating unit for cutting of sorghum at its base by mean of self-sharpening rotating blades, working in parallel to the soil and with adjustable height;
- steering system able to reduce the turning circle to minimum;
- diesel engine having power necessary to drive any movement of the machine.
Blades operating on the sides of the machine are foreseen for lodged or highly slanted plants.
The cut sorghum plants are to be laid down on the ground in form of regular windrows.
The result we are aiming at with this project is the construction of equipment able to mechanize the harvesting of sweet sorghum, so as to reduce its production costs and making its cultivation advantageous. Ethanol and other products can be obtained from this plant.